Chicago Blackhawks Exemplify Entrepreneurial Spirit

By Mike Maddaloni on Tuesday, June 15, 2010 at 11:31 AM with 0 comments

photo of Tiffany & Co. storefront with Chicago Blackhawks jerseyGo Blackhawks! That, and many other cheers have been rippling through the Chicagoland area the past few months, as the NHL Blackhawks played hard to the ultimate prize, the Stanley Cup. As a one-time pro-hockey fan, I was swept up in the momentum and was there cheering along with everyone else. You know everyone was caught up in the Blackhawks when venerable institutions like Tiffany & Co. even sported the red and black on their storefronts, as pictured!

The ascent of the team is not just one for the sports chronicles, but for the business storytelling as well. Just a few years ago, nobody would have thought the team would even sellout a game, let alone win it all. Attendance was low, games were not on TV, the team owner was known for many years as “Dollar” Bill Wirtz, and their record reflected all of this.

Then Mr. Writz died, and his son, Rocky, inherited the hockey club. It seemed like it was within days of his death that his offspring was trying to get games on local television, and a handful of games were broadcast for all to see, something his father never believed in. One-by-one changes were taking place – among them a new team president and signing young players like Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. The team adopted a mantra of “One Goal” – the play on words meaning everything they did was to win the Stanley Cup. And low and behold, as I write this it is now traveling back from LA with members of the team after an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Over the course of the last few years I have followed both sides of the team. In numerous interviews Rocky Wirtz talked about changing the culture of the organization, focusing on the fans and selling and marketing the team. What I heard was almost deja vu to me, sounding much like the transformation of the New England Patriots in the 90’s. Within a few years after Robert Kraft bought the team, they were in the Super Bowl, albeit a losing effort to the Packers. But the whole organization pressed on, both on and off the field. Today 3 Super Bowl banners hang within Gillette Stadium, which replaced the outdated-from-day-one Foxboro Stadium. And though I didn’t follow the story as closely with the Boston Celtics, they are now playing for their second NBA title since new ownership took over the team in the last decade.

Even though you are a pro sports team, just because you are there does not mean people will be interested. This is what happened with me, as I lost interest in the Boston Bruins over the years because of detached ownership and what seemed to be more attention to managing the bottom line than to winning. Granted, the Bruins have done well over the last few years, probably due to the son of the out-of-town owner of the team actually being in Boston. Where I wish them well, my heart and allegiance have transferred to another of the Original Six hockey teams.

The rise of the Blackhawks is inspiring on a lot of fronts, including business. It says there is hope for all of us if the commitment is there. Granted, according to Rocky Wirtz the team is currently losing money, but the long-term affects of this championship season have yet to play out. A look at the growing Patriot Place, which now surrounds Gillette Stadium, is a testament to that. With what looks like a solid organization, there’s no reason they cannot achieve their “One Goal” next season too.


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Start Everywhere

By Mike Maddaloni on Monday, June 07, 2010 at 04:00 AM with 0 comments

My favorite commercial on TV these days is from Dunkin' Donuts. I couldn’t find a video of it online, so I'll summarize it quick here - it opens with an overstuffed garage and a man and woman standing back looking at it. The woman asks, “where do we start?” and the man answers, “everywhere.”

Below is a screenshot I took literally from my TV.

screenshot of Dunkin Donuts Start Everywhere TV commercial

I like this ad as the garage sometimes resembles the work in front of me. In order to get to the meat of things, you just need to clear out some of the smaller things and the low-hanging fruits. As things clear, so may your view of the tasks at hand.

Good luck with your task list, and wish me luck on mine. Have a great week!


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Thoughts On My Last Blog Post And Hello To New Readers

By Mike Maddaloni on Thursday, May 27, 2010 at 01:40 PM with 0 comments

A special hello to new readers of The Hot Iron, especially those who came here after reading the latest edition of the “Out of Date Newsletter” by Christopher S. Penn. I was mentioned in the newsletter which arrived in my inbox yesterday, and I appreciate the kind words!

banner from Out of Date newsletter by Christopher S. Penn

Apparently I am returning the favor, as mentions from me in social media drove traffic to his newsletter. Of course you can only find out this information from analytics, which I have talked about quite a bit here. If you’re not already reading his newsletter or his blog, visit ChristopherSPenn.com and do so, not to mention the amazing marketing podcast Marketing Over Coffee he does with my good friend John Wall.

The Power Of The Last Post And Tweet

If you are new or a regular reader, you may have noticed I haven’t posted to The Hot Iron in a couple of weeks. I won’t get into any excuses as that is not important. But if you did subscribe, thank you, as many may not have found something relevant as of late and may not have chosen to. Also, if you read my Twitter stream yesterday, you may have seen more mentions of my wedding anniversary than anything business-related, as I took yesterday off. If you are following my tweets, again, thank you!

In a 24/7 world where attention spans are short, where we last left off is sometimes all people see from us. In social media and blogging, this is something to always be aware of. But then again, it is no different than a Web site with minimal or outdated content. You never know who will read, and when, and hopefully what they see is of interest to them. This is why on the Web pages of The Hot Iron I just have a link to my Twitter page, as sometimes the last one I leave is not always the best one.

Any Press Is Good Press

Despite this, I am thrilled to have the mention, especially as not everyone reads an email newsletter the day it is delivered. In my case, it was the next day – I was of course monitoring my email during the day and saw it in my inbox, but did not read it in full until today. Plus I subscribe to Donald Trump’s mantra that “any press is good press” as people are talking about you, and where you can’t control the message all the time, you can have an impact from what you say yourself.

Be on the watch for new thoughts and commentary coming from me here at The Hot Iron. Seriously.


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Next likemind Chicago on Friday May 21

By Mike Maddaloni on Thursday, May 06, 2010 at 04:00 AM with 0 comments

likemind.chi logoThe next likemind will be Friday, May 21, 2010 in dozens of cities around the world.

In Chicago, it will be at Argo Tea, 140 S Dearborn St. at the corner of Adams and Dearborn Streets in the Loop from 8:00 am to 10:00 am.

I call likemind a gathering of creative-minded people, from various disciplines including Internet, advertising, art, social media, et. al. For more information on likemind, you can read this great article on likemind from the New York Times.

No RSVP is required. You are also welcome to join the likemind Chicago Facebook group.


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Mike Maddaloni Interviewed For Age of Conversation 3 On Eyecube

By Mike Maddaloni on Monday, May 03, 2010 at 12:21 PM with 0 comments

eyecube logoLast week I wrote about my being part of Age of Conversation 3, a crowdsourced book written by nearly 200 authors from around the world. Recently I was interviewed by Rick Liebling on his blog, eyecube. The interview is now posted there, and I invite you to read it and get some insight into my involvement with this project. Rick himself is an AOC3 author, and has interviewed a number of other authors, and those interviews are being posted to his blog almost daily.

Stay tuned for more information about the release of the book itself.


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Mike Maddaloni Is A Contributor To The Age Of Conversation 3

By Mike Maddaloni on Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 04:00 AM with 1 comments

cover of The Age of Conversation 3Imagine a book comprising a few different themes and written by almost 200 writers. Can you? Either way I am proud to say I, Mike Maddaloni, am one of those writers in the book The Age of Conversation 3, coming soon to a bookstore near you.

As you cam tell by the title, this is the third book of its kind in this series. Gavin Heaton and Drew McLellan are the curators and editors of this project. It is a truly international project, with authors from around the globe and Gavin in Australia and Drew in the US.

The central theme of AOC3 is 'It’s Time to Get Busy!' and the book is divided into 10 sections: At the coalface, Conversational branding, Influence, Getting to work, Corporate conversations, Measurement, In the boardroom, Pitching social media, Innovation and execution, Identities, friends and trusted strangers. My piece will be in the 'Getting to work' section.

The Age of Conversation 3 will be released soon - look for another post here on The Hot Iron. All profits from the sale of the book are donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Special thanks to Gav and Drew for letting me be a part of AOC3 and for all of their hard work to make it a reality!


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New And Old Retail Meet Via QR Codes

By Mike Maddaloni on Saturday, April 24, 2010 at 12:44 PM with 1 comments

Walking to the office today something caught my eye that I had to share, as pictured below.

photo of bus Stop ad in Spanish with QR code and Marshall Field’s, Chicago

Across from the former Marshall Field’s department store in Chicago on Washington Street is a bus stop. On that bus stop is an ad in Spanish for Google Android mobile phones. Prominent in the lower right corner of the ad is a QR code. What got my attention was the contrast of the old vs. new retail. The Field’s building, over a century old, with its iconic clock in comparison to the QR code on a non-English ad for a mobile device from a vendor barely over a decade old.

The real question is if these will continue to be 2 completely different retail concepts, or if they will come together as one?


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Next likemind Chicago on Friday April 16

By Mike Maddaloni on Wednesday, April 07, 2010 at 09:35 AM with 0 comments

likemind.chi logoThe next likemind will be Friday, April 16, 2010 in dozens of cities around the world.

In Chicago, it will be at Argo Tea, 140 S Dearborn St. at the corner of Adams and Dearborn Streets in the Loop from 8:00 am to 10:00 am.

I call likemind a gathering of creative-minded people, from various disciplines including Internet, advertising, art, social media, et. al. For more information on likemind, you can read this great article on likemind from the New York Times.

No RSVP is required. You are also welcome to join the likemind Chicago Facebook group.


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Next likemind Chicago on Friday March 19

By Mike Maddaloni on Tuesday, March 02, 2010 at 10:07 AM with 0 comments

likemind.chi logoThe next likemind will be Friday, March 19, 2010 in dozens of cities around the world.

In Chicago, it will be at Argo Tea, 140 S Dearborn St. at the corner of Adams and Dearborn Streets in the Loop from 8:00 am to 10:00 am.

I call likemind a gathering of creative-minded people, from various disciplines including Internet, advertising, art, social media, et. al. For more information on likemind, you can read this great article on likemind from the New York Times.

No RSVP is required. You are also welcome to join the likemind Chicago Facebook group.


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A Sign Of Better Times

By Mike Maddaloni on Friday, February 19, 2010 at 07:07 AM with 0 comments

photo of wine rackIf you are a regular reader of The Hot Iron, you may have gotten a sense that I am surely glad 2009 is over and 2010 is off to a great start, both from a business and personal perspective. It surely is nice to see when things come together and progress, whether we are overtly looking for them or not.

One sign things are better presented itself to me when I wasn’t even looking for it. As I added a bottle of wine I just purchased to our wine rack at home, I realized the rack was full, as shown in the accompanying picture. For the record note my wife and I are surely not sommeliers, but we do like to have a glass of wine with a meal and friends. The brands stored on this rack are also more than likely not to appear in any article by Chicago Tribune food and wine critic Bill Daley. We always like to keep a few bottles on hand and will usually get something for special occasions. But the point here is this – last year, the rack was not full all the time last year. Not only is it now full, but the couple of bottles of champagne we have are chilling for the right time to pop them open.

Another sign of good times is there have not been as many posts here on The Hot Iron as I would have liked. For now, I will share this, and write more pointed pieces in the future.

Have you had any good signs this year?

Salute!


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